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How to Get Healthy Gums: 5 Easy Lifestyle Changes You Can Make

We all grow up learning to take care of our teeth. Otherwise, we put ourselves at the risk of developing cavities. Unfortunately, improper gum care can put us at risk, too. 

According to this CDC report, 47.2% of adults age 30 years and older develop some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal is an advanced form of gum disease that impacts the tissues and bones connected to your teeth. The chances of developing gum disease also increase with age.

By learning how to get healthy gums, you can avoid periodontal disease.

Improve your overall oral health by following these five tips today!

Warning Signs

If you’re concerned you’ve developed gum disease, check for these signs:

  • Swollen or red gums
  • Loose or sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath (or a taste that won’t go away)
  • Bleeding or tender gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Gums that extract from your teeth
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Loose teeth

Make an appointment with your dentist if you’re experiencing any of these signs. 

Risk Factors

Certain lifestyle choices can put you at risk for gum disease. These factors include:

  • Genetics
  • Crooked teeth
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Female hormonal changes (caused by the use of oral contraceptives or pregnancy)
  • Medications that cause dry mouth
  • Defective fillings
  • Underlying immuno-deficiences 
  • Poor oral hygiene

Changing your daily habits can help you avoid gum disease for a happier, healthier life.

5 Ways to Avoid Gum Disease

With these five tips, you can learn how to get healthy gums. Otherwise, you might require corrective surgery in the future.

1. Brush (the Right Way)

Brushing your teeth properly is the essential first step to healthy gums.

Before you brush, check your toothpaste. There are a number of options to choose from, ranging from whitening products to plaque-prevention toothpaste. When choosing your own, check for one that contains fluoride.

Make sure your toothpaste displays the ADA seal of approval, too.

Brush your teeth morning and night with your fluoride toothpaste for happy, healthy gums. When possible, brush up to an hour after each meal.

Brushing your teeth regularly helps remove plaque and bacteria that cling to the surface of your teeth. Together, bacteria and food can produce acids, which causes cavities and gum disease. 

You should also:

  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush
  • Place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
  • Consider using an electronic toothbrush
  • Move the toothbrush in short strokes at a 45-degree angle to your gums
  • Press gently and move in slow circles 
  • Brush your teeth one at a time
  • Make sure to clean the insides of your teeth as well
  • Turn the brush vertically along each tooth for total coverage

Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too. Take two to three minutes each time you brush your teeth. If you don’t want to time it, mentally sing your ABC’s.

Gum and other dental disease prevention starts at home. For a little extra help, make an appointment for professional dental cleanings. Your dentist can help promote, restore, and maintain your oral health for long-term protection. 

2. Floss

Food can get stuck in your teeth after every meal. Make sure to floss your teeth once a day to avoid gum disease. 

Flossing helps remove food and plaque that’s hidden between your teeth. Your toothbrush might not be able to reach these spots. When plaque remains between your teeth, it becomes tartar.

You’ll need to visit your dentist to remove tartar from between your teeth.

As you learn how to get healthy gums, it’s important you make these tips a habit. For proper flossing:

  • Extract an 18-inch strip of floss
  • Wrap the floss around a finger on each hand, leaving 1-inch of space
  • Floss your top row of teeth, then the bottom
  • Remain careful not to push too hard, which could injure your gums
  • Move the floss up and around your gumline
  • Don’t forget your back teeth, too

Make flossing a habit. Otherwise, you’re giving bacteria and acid the chance to destroy your gums.

3. Mouthwash

Many people neglect this next step after brushing and flossing. According to this survey, only 25.1% of people use mouthwash daily. However, using mouthwash can help kill the bacteria in your mouth that cause plaque.

That bacteria can also cause early gum disease and bad breath, so get swooshing!

Check for a mouthwash that contains fluoride or antibacterial ingredients. Both can help improve your breath and prevent tooth decay. Mouthwash can reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth and how quickly tartar builds up.

Swish the rinse in your mouth for about a minute before spitting it out.

4. Eat Right

Your diet can help keep your gums healthy, too. 

Try to eat a variety of foods. Sugary, starchy foods add acids to your mouth. The longer those acids linger, the more likely they can damage your gums and teeth. 

Avoid snacks such as:

  • Dried fruits
  • Sugary gums
  • Candies
  • Baked goods (cookies, cakes, pie, pastries, breadsticks)
  • Chips

If you do eat these foods, make sure to brush afterward to protect your gums. 

5. Regular Check-ups 

Regular dental check-ups can also help you learn how to get healthy gums. 

Make sure to visit your dentist at least every six months. Professional tooth cleanings can help you avoid gum disease as well. If your gums or teeth are bleeding or swollen, make sure to tell your dentist during your check-up.

Your dentist can also recognize the early signs of gingivitis or gum disease. By detecting these concerns early on, you can keep your gums healthy and avoid other health issues. 

How to Get Healthy Gums: 5 Easy Lifestyle Changes to Make Today

Smiling shouldn’t hurt. With these five easy lifestyle changes, you can discover how to get healthy gums without dealing with gum disease. A few simple changes and you can improve your overall oral health for the better.

Restore your smile and avoid gum disease. Contact us today to make an appointment with our team.